Betta Fish, also known as “Siamese Fighting Fish,” are native to Southeast Asia, typically in the areas of Thailand and Cambodia. They are usually 2-3 inches in length and can live as long as 3 years. Males have small, sharp teeth and flare their gills, displaying graceful colored fins when excited. Females are smaller than males, and tend to have a more peaceful demeanor, and have a less-vibrant color normally a brownish-yellow.
Bettas are carnivorous fish. In the wild, they feed upon insects and insect larvae. Their upturned mouths, make the Betta well suited for snatching insects that fall into the water. Because their digestive system is geared for meat, Betta Fish should ideally be fed brine shrimp, daphnia, plankton, bloodworms, beef heart, or other “live foods.” Bloodworms, or other foods that float, are easier to remove from the water if your fish does not eat all of what is fed to him. You should only feed your Betta Fish 2-3 times a week, and only enough per feeding for your fish to consume in a couple of minutes. Check your fish’s water ten minutes after feeding it and remove any excess food using a small net. Over-feeding your fish can cloud the water, making it dirtier much quicker, and can also cause illness in your fish.
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Betta Bowl Set Up:
Betta Fish are called “fighting fish” for a reason: Do not place more than one betta fish in a bowl! They are highly territorial and will react violent to “betta intruders” in their territory. They can be housed with peaceful fish (mollies, small gold fish, fancy guppies to name a few) or even African Dwarf Frogs. Your Betta’s bowl should be kept away from sources of hot and cold air, such as heaters, heater vents, direct sunlight, drafts, and air conditioner vents. Ideal water temperatures
for your fish’s water range from 70 – 80o Fahrenheit. The water should be changed once the water grows cloudy, usually about once a week. After removing your fish and placing him in a container, rinse the bowl and any decorations (rocks, shells, plastic plants, etc.) with clean water.
Tap water may be used to fill your fish’s bowl if it’s not highly chlorinated, as chlorine is toxic to fish.
Water must be room temperature (75 -86o Fahrenheit). One of the best ways to meet both of these
conditions, if your water is not too highly-chlorinated, is to fill an empty jug with your tap water and
leave the cap off for 24 hours. The next day, replace the cap and store the jug until its ready for use.
By doing this, the water meets room temperature, and the chlorine dissipates into the air.
Betta Fish Interesting Facts:
What’s that bubble nest you see floating on the surface of your Betta Fish’s bowl? In the wild, male bettas build a nest of bubbles and saliva to attract a female mate. This is what you’re seeing, even though he has no hopes of a mate, unless you are a fanatic Betta Fish Breeder! Why can Betta Fish survive in small bowls, without a bubbler? Betta Fish are born with a special organ called a “labyrinth”. This sac-like organ is located right above the Betta’s gills, and allows the Betta to absorb oxygen through the air (you’ll notice your Betta coming to the surface for “gulps” of air).